Saturday, September 13, 2008


On Saturday I lost a significant chunk of the morning while waiting in line for a haircut with my son at the Birkenhead Corner Barbers. Once shorn, we took the Land Rover down to the Birkdale Timber World to pick up the softwood for the stringers and running strips. I didn't want to waste more of the day going further afield, and my friend Simon works there, a fellow Land Rover nut.

After talking Land Rovers for about 15 minutes, I selected some fairly cheap 18mm square finger jointed softwood. Its not great stuff, but since the designer had e-mailed me back with some details about its purpose in the boat, I decided that it was more than up to the job. Basically, as in any true stitch and tape boat design, the plywood monocoque provided the boat with all its strength, and the stringers are there primarily to provide a gluing surface where a more usual epoxy fillet and glass tape join can't be made, i.e. in fitting the deck to the kayak, where no internal access is possible.

The rest of the day was spent tweaking the kayak hull and fitting the stringers along the top edge with screws, ready to be epoxied on later. I also spent a while planing the bottom inner corner of the stringers. This will remove a little bit of weight, since the timber I'm using is slightly over sized from the original specification.

While sanding one of these pieces, I had a bit of a mishap. My ring finger got caught in one of the accessory holes in the top of my portable workbench. It's ripped a lump of finger-tip away, I managed to stick it back down with a plaster and stem the blood, but it was very sore. I was using sharp tools all day, planes, saws, chisels and the jigsaw, and I managed to wound myself on a blunt work bench!

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